GoDaddy is one of the builders that I expected to offer an actually easy and functional way to create a website. And since this builder is made by a famous hosting company – the performance of these websites shouldn’t be less than perfect.
And guess what (spoiler alert!) – I got what I expected.
To write this GoDaddy website builder review, I went on and built a full website here. One thing I appreciated, and you might as well, is the very intuitive editing interface.
Next to that, there’s also good performance and the fact that every GoDaddy’s template design is completely responsive with all devices.
And although GoDaddy website builder doesn’t offer free plans, the free trial gives a good chance to try out if this builder suits your needs
Of course, along the way, I came across several limitations.
The templates themselves are serviceable, but far away from beautiful. And there’s certainly a limit as to how much you can edit them.
The lack of access to the website’s code or the very simplified editor can be kind of restricting for someone planning to build a website with a lot of content.
But to make up for that, more or less each plan has features like social media integrations, email marketing, website analytics, and so on. Naturally, the high-end plans offer more comprehensive features, so the exact subscription you choose will depend on your needs.
Overall, I think that GoDaddy does a good job on this. But there’s no such thing as a perfect builder for everyone.
So, continue reading this GoDaddy website builder review to find out if you’d like it as much as I did!
The GoDaddy website builder offers quite affordable subscriptions. Prices range from $10/month for the most basic subscription to $25/month for a plan offering eCommerce capabilities.
These prices are very competitive, especially when you consider the comprehensive features that each plan offers.
By the way, GoDaddy also offers a one month free trial for each of its plans, which will let you fully test the services before you buy. You won’t even have to enter any payment information until your free trial runs out.
If you only want to build a simple personal website that doesn’t offer a lot of features, then the Basic plan is a great choice.
Costing $10/month – probably less than your Spotify subscription – this plan comes complete with a mobile-friendly website and on-the-go editing capabilities.
It also gives you access to 24/7 support, high-quality hosting, and an SSL security certificate which will protect your website users’ data.
Upgrading to the Standard plan for $15/mo will unlock two additional features to help your website grow.
It allows to add a PayPal button on your site also gives you access to great SEO tools to help improve your search engine ranking.
The Premium plan is where things really start to get interesting.
For $20/month, this plan gives you access to a suite of marketing tools, including an email marketing interface, a Google My Business, and Yelp Business listing, and social media integration.
You will also be able to use GoDaddy’s online booking system if you want to.
Finally, the eCommerce plan unlocks the complete range of GoDaddy features. Priced at $25/month, it lets you add a complete shopping cart to your site.
Furthermore, you will be able to accept online payments, add shipping and tax information, and connect to marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, among other things.
In reality, GoDaddy is targeted at those who want to build small personal or business websites. Trying it myself, I would say it succeeded in this front – the editor is straight to the point and learning the functions was fast and easy.
In fact, this might be the easiest website builder that I’ve used. But that also means limited customizability as the simplified editor loses certain possibilities.
Let’s go from the start.
Firstly, to sign up, all there was to do was going to the GoDaddy homepage and clicking on the “Start for free” button on the right side of your screen.
Note that if you already have a GoDaddy hosting account, you won’t need to sign up for a separate account for a website builder. (But you still have to purchase the plan separately.)
Another simplification to the registration is the ability to sign up with Facebook or Amazon account if you want to. Yay for keeping passwords and logins simple!
But if it doesn’t sound like a good option, to create a separate account all you will just need to enter is an email address, password, and username.
That’s it with the setup – no credit card details or anything. Now let’s start building the website.
GoDaddy website builder greets you with a step-by-step process to help you get started. First, I was asked to specify the industry and the name of my website.
While searching for the industry type, the website immediately offered some template options.
I liked that this info can be changed later. So if you can’t find the exact type that suits your website, you may experiment whenever in the process.
Overall, signing up for a GoDaddy account and starting to create my website took all of a couple of minutes. I didn’t have to provide any personal details, and it didn’t ask for any credit card information.
But let’s see how the builder itself stacks up.
After the registration, you will be taken straight to the editing dashboard. The entire setup process is guided by pop-up hints – from the theme selection to the editing widgets.
That’s something worth appreciating, as getting used to a new interface always takes time, even if you have already tried a bunch of different website builders.
Before starting the customization process, you’ll have to pick the template first.
Simply click on the theme menu found on the right of your GoDaddy dashboard, scroll through the available themes, and find the one that appeals to you the most.
What I liked, the themes can be switched even after the content is uploaded.
This gives some peace to the head when you can simply change the design if later you find out that it doesn’t resonate with the content. Your existing content will be retained, so – no problem here!
Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can personalize things like color schemes and fonts.
But here I want to address the limits. First, you can only set one font grouping and color scheme per website. That saves you from font clutter but on the other hand, it restrains the design flexibility.
Anyway, when it comes to actually building and managing your website, I found the GoDaddy’s system straight away comfortable.
For example, you can customize and reorder each block of your website as you see fit.
Adding things like menus, banners, and contact form takes no more than a few seconds – the items are easy to find and the variety would suit any type of website.
But I have to slow down my preach, as this simplicity, once again, has a side of restrictions.
While every single GoDaddy theme is customizable that is only within the limits of the editor.
So for those creative spirits that have a very precise idea of their website, GoDaddy’s editor might be a bit annoying.
Sure, you can drag elements around to reorder them, but their exact positioning will be determined by the theme that you choose. You can’t place things in pixel-perfect locations like you can with such builders like Wix. At times I found this a bit frustrating.
The other thing I found a bit annoying was the fact that I couldn’t add sub-levels on my site’s navigation menu. All pages are automatically positioned at the top level, which would make things messy for large website owners who want to create a lot of content.
But aside from those inconveniences, the editing process goes smoothly.
A website builder isn’t only the design editor. What you’ll work with daily, is uploading and managing the content.
With GoDaddy website builder, adding and managing your images is easy. Even if you end up with more than one website.
Same with uploading content or sorting blog posts – it really feels like the GoDaddy team worked well to create an intuitive menu.
Everything is available in one place, making changes goes by simply clicking on the block you want to edit and the options appear in the right sidebar.
Similarly, to add new content blocks you have to click on the “Add new section” button that pops up when you hover your mouse over your site. There is a wide range of different blocks that you can add according to your needs.
For example, someone building a portfolio style website might choose to add a few different photo galleries in strategic places.
Specialized blocks like menus, restaurant online ordering, reservations, and product reviews are also available, giving you great freedom when it comes to increasing your site’s functionality.
Furthermore, eCommerce integration is simple and comes along with an online store builder. Meanwhile, marketing help comes in the form of a number of native functions.
This is one of the things that makes GoDaddy website builder a winner in my eyes. A lot of other website builders make you install apps or third-party plugins if you want to add advanced features like this, making things a bit more complicated.
And the best thing? Your site will be regularly backed up by GoDaddy, which means that your valuable content will always be safe.
Additionally, GoDaddy lets you add online booking features, accept payments from a range of providers, and create an attractive blog.
I liked that there’s no need to have the technical knowledge – it’s really simple to integrate a range of third-party apps and keep up-to-date with your site’s performance by using a few of GoDaddy’s analytics tools.
As much as I like the customization process, GoDaddy certainly isn’t the best provider in terms of the templates it offers. At first glance, it seems like there is a large range of themes available for you to choose from.
However, a closer look reveals that there are actually only a small number of choices suited to each website niche.
For example, if you want to build a property or real-estate website there are only 13 templates available. Let’s say that half of these don’t include the features that you want, and here you find yourself wondering how not to look too generic.
The problem of GoDaddy website builder only offering a small number of templates is further worsened by the lack of customizability that this website builder offers. Once you’ve chosen a template, you will be confined by its general layout.
And that can become a severely limiting factor for people who want to build a large, feature-rich website complete with a personalized design.
Searching for the examples of websites built with GoDaddy, I did come across some great designs.
However, most of them were relatively simple with quite a generic feel about them. For example, here’s a website of an animal care center:
It certainly does the job to provide the info about the project, reach out through other platforms and so on. However, if looking from the design perspective, there’s not much to be impressed about.
(But in this case, the website is full of cute puppies and kitties so I rate this design a strong 12/10)
GoDaddy certainly isn’t the best website builder for large businesses as it is more targeted to beginner users and small-sized websites. However, it offers fairly decent eCommerce features, marketing, and SEO tools, as well as in-depth analytics.
On the SEO front, GoDaddy website builder makes things easy – but only if you update to at least the Premium plan. For me it came as a surprise that the cheaper Basic plan doesn’t offer any SEO tools – this feature would seem only natural.
However, the plans that allow SEO settings offer a suite of comprehensive tools.
You will be able to specify things like your target audience, location, and subject area. Adding metadata, including meta titles and meta descriptions, is made easy, and GoDaddy will even suggest keywords for you.
All in all, GoDaddy website builder SEO features are not bad but I feel it should be available with each plan.
While GoDaddy website builder offers decent SEO and email marketing services, eCommerce is an area where it really stands up. You only get eCommerce features with the most expensive eCommerce plan ($19.99/month), but GoDaddy website builder makes setting everything up incredibly simple.
Of course, it doesn’t offer the same level of features as dedicated eCommerce providers like Shopify or BigCommerce. But if all you want to do is add a basic store to your site, then you’ll have access to everything you need with GoDaddy.
Store management is made easy through the intuitive dashboard. Like the editor, the store manager is quite basic but remains highly functional.
You will have the ability to accept payments through a number of different payment gateways, including PayPal, Apple Pay, and others.
Adding tax and shipping rates will help you run your store with the least amount of effort possible, and it’s super easy to keep customers coming back with the text and email notifications.
One of my favorite things about the GoDaddy eCommerce package is its native product reviews feature.
Many store builders let you integrate reviews from third-party apps or plugins, but it’s a lot easier when everything is managed through GoDaddy’s simple interface.
Finally, you can promote your store to your social media accounts with easy Facebook integration.
Overall, GoDaddy offers a great store builder, even if it is a little basic. It has more than enough features for the average simple online store, and it’s super easy to use.
GoDaddy website builder also excels when it comes to marketing. It’s great to be able to build an attractive online store, but there’s absolutely no point in trying to sell things if you can’t get anyone to view your website.
Luckily, it’s easy to drive visitors to your site with GoDaddy’s marketing features.
GoDaddy also lets you create and send marketing emails to your subscribers. This will help your site gain and retain visitors, especially if you’re regularly updating your blog or other content.
Going further, connecting your social media accounts to your GoDaddy website will let you do everything from managing your Facebook statistics to syncing with your Pinterest account.
This makes it easier than ever to manage your social media marketing, especially if you don’t have a lot of marketing experience.
GoDaddy also allows adding Google My Business listing, which helps you get found in both search and on Google Maps.
GoDaddy seems like a great website builder for people who want to build a small website quickly and without any coding or design skills. However, if your small business becomes a large corporation, should you continue using GoDaddy and grow together?
Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn’t promise much for scalability.
The fact that you can’t add sub-levels to your menus makes it difficult for content-based websites that need a lot of pages. Really, you can only add six or eight pages to your main menu before your website starts looking like it just survived a plane crash.
Similarly, if you’re looking to build an eCommerce store that has room to grow in the future, don’t use GoDaddy. This builder would suit only small stores that are planning to stay small.
The main reason for this is that GoDaddy website builder only lets you add up to a total of 100 different product variations.
Each individual product can only have up to three variations. Don’t you think that’s a bit too tight?
Since all websites created with this builder are hosted by GoDaddy, an industry-leading hosting provider, I wasn’t too surprised to get the best results of the website performance test.
The first thing I did was perform a simple load speed test. It took into account things like how well my content was optimized, how well the servers hosting my website performed, and ultimately, how fast my site loaded.
As you can see from the results below, the test returned nearly perfect scores.
The PageSpeed score of 98% is as high as I’ve ever seen, and this is reflected in the fast load time of 1.6 seconds.
Similarly, the YSlow score – which takes into account a range of front-end performance factors – was extremely high, coming in at 95%. I’ve seen other reputable providers with scores below 70%, so I was extremely impressed.
Following this, I ran a load-impact test to see how my GoDaddy website performed under load. This test subjected my site to 50 virtual users for a ten minute period.
As expected, it continued to perform very well.
As the graph shows, the server response time (blue line in the image below) remained very low, even when my website was subject to high visitor loads.
This is great for both SEO and the overall user experience, and to say that I was happy would be an understatement.
GoDaddy website builder definitely has some strengths and anyone looking for a simple way to start a website won’t be disappointed. It keeps things easy, letting you build a basic website in next to no time.
I’ve given GoDaddy a big tick on the features front. It lets you integrate a wide range of specialized functions to your website. For example, restaurant owners will benefit from the native menu builder and booking tool, while artists can quickly create attractive galleries to showcase their work.
GoDaddy also excels on the performance front, with page load speeds and server performances about as good as I’ve ever seen.
However, there are some downsides as well.
The simplicity of the editor comes at a cost: GoDaddy falls on templates variety and design flexibility. It offers a very limited range of designs, and you will always be limited by the pre-coded element positions.
Furthermore, it has limited scaling potential. Surely, small businesses can benefit from the extensive range of SEO, marketing, and eCommerce tools on offer, but larger websites and store owners will have trouble expanding their site to meet demands.
out of 10
All things considered, I enjoyed using GoDaddy website builder. A decent editor and competitive prices is a good match to impress many users. While it doesn’t offer great design flexibility or customization, the overall product allows creating modern and responsive websites that are comfortable to manage.
Although GoDaddy website builder is a great choice for those wanting a small, simple website – particularly in terms of ease of use and affordability – there are plenty of decent alternatives out there. The following builders all offer great features and might work better than GoDaddy for some people.
If you want to build a powerful eCommerce store with a simple builder, then consider Shopify. It offers a range of great store features and is very beginner-friendly as well.
For access to what is arguably the most powerful drag-and-drop website builder available, then have a look at Wix. It lets you place elements wherever you want, allowing you to customize your designs down to the pixel level.
SITE123 is a good like-for-like alternative to GoDaddy website builder. It also offers very simple website building services and affordable subscriptions. Unlike GoDaddy, SITE123 offers a functional Free Forever plan.
Squarespace is famous for its beautiful templates and extremely attractive designs. It’s a great alternative for people who want to really create a beautiful website.
If you want access to a more powerful website builder with a focus on eCommerce, then consider using Weebly.